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Tamron 17-35MM F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF)

1735mm
Review Date: May 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: value, weight, lens cap, fast aperture
Cons:
Slow AF

For $299 I thought I'd risk it since it we far cheaper than either of Canon's wide angle zooms. This lens excels at the wide angle and pretty much wide open which is where I like to use it. There are complaints of softness at the edges and CA, but for portrait work I could care less for the former and if there's that much contrast in my image to bring out CA, I'm probably doing something wrong with respect to lighting. Anyway, I've been pleasantly surprised and have no plans on getting the L-lens equivalent any time soon (I have the 50mm, 24-105 and 70-200 L-lens for comparison). It's definitely not built as rugged, but I actually prefer the lighter weight and the fact that I could replace it twice for the same cost of comparable Canon glass. The build is at least as nice as Canon's non L prime lenses.

I have seen molasses move faster than the focus on this so I wouldn't use this frequently for toddler photography but otherwise it's great.

...one other thing I love - the front lens cap can be easily removed even with the hood on.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

ef50lusm
Review Date: May 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything, especially the manual focus.
Cons:
Price, possibly weight.

I hesitated forking over, over a grand, when I had a perfectly solid 50mm f1.4 lens, but after a dozen shots, I wish I bought this lens sooner.

The image quality is great and I've experienced none of the back focusing issues mentioned elsewhere. The best, and most frequently overlooked aspect of this lens is not the IQ but the ability to manual focus. The dampening in the ring is phenomenal. My 1.4 is hardly usable in comparison because there is so much play in the focus ring (i.e. if you pass the point of focus, there's some play before you actually start moving the lens again). That in conjunction with the narrower DOF, make focusing more precise through the view finder.

Besides the obvious downside of price, this lens is significantly heavier than the 1.4 to the point where I don't typically carry it around while playing with my two kids (just too much stuff along with the diaper bag, stuffed animal, blah, blah, blah ...).

I was debating this lens versus updating my Canon 5D. I've shot with the 5D II and while it's a great camera, I'm glad I invested in a lens that will maintain its value for many years to come.